Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 3, 2010 11:36pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: MORE TO COME

I think this pretty much sums up the situation for "Plan 9"



This film is in the public domain. “Grave Robbers From Outer Space” was originally published in the USA in 1959. The film was not immediately registered for copyright. It was registered by it's producer “Reynold's Pictures Inc” in 1981 (PA0000102338).
The film's copyright was renewed in 1986 by Wade Williams 3 (RE0000279707). In 1981, Williams lodged a quitclaim from Kathy Wood (Edward D Wood Jr's second wife [1956-his death] and heir. USCO doc. no. V1831P045) and separate quitclaims of interest from Norma McCarty (Edward D Wood's first wife - falsely listed on the filing as “Mrs. Edward D. Wood, Jr., successor of all rights to the Estate of Edward D. Wood, Jr.”, which she was not, as their marriage had been annulled) - and Reynolds Pictures, Inc.
This renewal was legally invalid for these reasons:
1)the registration and renewals were lodged providing the incorrect title on screen, date-in-notice and publication date for the original publication.
2)In order for a successor in interest to renew a copyright they have to demonstrate that they own the copyright through a valid transfer of rights from the party owning the copyright at or immediately before the renewal window. None of the parties Mr Williams sought quitclaims from were valid owners of copyright immediately prior to the renewal window. Valid copyright successors for this film “James Flocker Enterprises Inc” “Gold Key Video” Vidtronics Inc” and “Medallion Pictures”, all companies who are successors in the chain of ownership post registration, are not present in Williams' quitclaims. Williams has, instead, provided the the USCO with a series of meaningless assignments from parties which no longer held any copyright interest in the work in order to demonstrate “ownership” of the intellectual property in the film.
The screenplay was further registered as an unpublished work in 1989 (Pau001211635). This again is rendered legally invalid by the mere fact that large portions of the screenplay were previously published as part of the registered motion picture for which no valid copyright renewal exists.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: mrmccarty Date: Nov 16, 2012 8:05pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: MORE TO COME

My mother is Norma E. McCarty. She and my step-father, Ed, were married until the day he died, no annulment.
I don't know who told you they had an annulment, but I'm very sure whoever it was, didn't have any proof of an annulment, because there isn't any. However, you can get a copy of their Marriage Certificate.
Please stop saying they had an annulment. They both told me they were never divorced either.
Thank you,
Michael McCarty

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 5, 2010 3:04pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: MORE TO COME

It's up (http://www.archive.org/details/Plan_9_from_Outer_Space_1959). I did some minor editing on what you wrote. I hope that's OK, and I hope I didn't change the meaning. Thanks again!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Fact_Checker Date: May 4, 2011 6:21pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: MORE TO COME (Plan 9 From Outer Space copyright)

I have no argument with point #1 and that copyright registration of the screenplay does not mean anything because "large portions of the screenplay were previously published as part of the registered motion picture" (thus making copyright protection contingent upon copyright in the film itself).

However, it may be incorrect to decide that the renewal claimant lacked eligibility because "Valid copyright successors for this film 'James Flocker Enterprises Inc' 'Gold Key Video' 'Vidtronics Inc' and 'Medallion Pictures', all companies who are successors in the chain of ownership post registration, are not present in Williams' quitclaims."

The above companies may well have acquired the remainder of the first-term rights that began with J. Edward Reynolds, but Reynolds's rights may have not extended into the second term. "Plan 9" is in an unusual ownership situation because the project originated with Edward D. Wood Jr. independent of any company or financier, and only later did Reynolds come into the picture, seemingly as a backer rather than as someone to whom Wood had a work-for-hire arrangement. Under the 1909 Copyright Act, this would give Wood ownership of copyright after the first term, and owing to Wood's death prior to the end of the first term, any contractual term he signed forfeiting the second term would be void.

There are precedents supporting this interpretation. Were it the case that D.W. Griffith's part in spearheading "The Birth of a Nation" were such that he would own the second-term copyright, then it would be necessary that he had renewed the 1915 copyright in 1942-43. Instead, the distributor (which had not even been in existence at the time of production) renewed. A court determined that Epoch (the company) could not show it had been eligible to renew, so the renewal copyright was voided.

http://chart.copyrightdata.com/c07B.html#s142

The "Plan 9" renewal seems to be the reverse: the successor to the "auteur" (as it were) filed renewal, the distributors did not. I don't know whether Wade Williams has valid claims in this regard, nor do I know what contractual and financial arrangements were made between Wood and Reynolds (Could it have been work for hire? Did Reynolds qualify to be copyright claimant for all terms?), but I see there being grounds for interpreting the copyright status of this film in the way that I describe above.

The provisions of the 1909 Copyright Act which gave authors a "second chance" to sell rights when something they created still had a market 28 years after first publication -- which came about because Congress heeded Mark Twain's testimony about how he had earned little from "Innocents Abroad" in its first term -- usually impacted only songs and novels, not movies, but "Plan 9" was not a studio in-house movie. More cases:

http://chart.copyrightdata.com/c07B.html

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: May 7, 2011 2:43am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: MORE TO COME (Plan 9 From Outer Space copyright)

The registration listed the authorship as "Reynold Pictures Inc., employer for hire". The work was registered as a work for hire.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 4, 2010 4:55am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: MORE TO COME

Thanks so much Shane! I'll quote and link to this post when I upload the movie. Hope it helps keep the film here.

Bill